Glass Cockpit Safety in General Aviation Aircraft NTSB Hearing

April 13, 2011


Here is the NTSB Hearing on Glass Cockpits in GA aircraft and their affect on training and safety. SB-10-07 NTSB STUDY SHOWS INTRODUCTION OF GLASS COCKPITS IN GENERAL AVIATION AIRPLANES HAS NOT LED TO EXPECTED SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS Washington, DC Today the National Transportation Safety Board adopted a study concluding that single engine airplanes equipped with glass cockpits had no better overall safety record than airplanes with conventional instrumentation. The safety study, which was adopted unanimously by the Safety Board, was initiated more than a year ago to determine if light airplanes equipped with digital primary flight displays, often referred to as “glass cockpits,” were inherently safer than those equipped with conventional instruments. The study, which looked at the accident rates of over 8000 small piston-powered airplanes manufactured between 2002 and 2006, found that those equipped with glass cockpits had a higher fatal accident rate then similar aircraft with conventional instruments. The Safety Board determined that because glass cockpits are both complex and vary from aircraft to aircraft in function, design and failure modes, pilots are not always provided with all of the information they need both by aircraft manufacturers and the Federal Aviation Administration to adequately understand the unique operational and functional details of the primary flight instruments in their airplanes. NTSB Chairman Deborah AP Hersman highlighted the role that training

Colgan Flight 3407 NTSB Animation of Buffalo Accident Q400

May 18, 2009

Courtesy: National Transportation Safety Board

The NTSB.GOV website keeps going down, so here’s the animation.

This three-dimensional (3-D) animated reconstruction shows the last 2 minutes of the February 12, 2009, accident involving a Bombardier DHC-8-400, N200WQ, operated by of Colgan Air, Inc., which crashed about 5 nautical miles northeast of Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Buffalo, New York, while on an instrument landing system approach to runway 23. During the approach, a pitchup motion occurred, followed by a left roll and then a right roll. During these maneuvers, both the stick shaker and stick pusher were activated, and the speed decreased. After further pitch and roll excursions, the airplane entered a steep descent from which it did not recover.
The animation shows excerpts from the flight data recorder (FDR), the pit voice recorder (CVR) transcript, recorded radar data, and aircraft performance data. It does not depict the weather or visibility conditions at the time of the accident. The animation does not include audio.
The upper portion of the animation shows a 3-D model of the airplane and the airplanes motions during the accident sequence. In this area, selected content from the CVR transcript or other annotations are superimposed as text at the time that the event occurred. All times (in eastern standard time) are shown on the right side of the screen.
The lower portion of the animation depicts instruments and indicators, which display selected FDR or calculated parameters. The instruments and indications are shown in three sections, which are (from left to right):
•Airspeed, airspeed tape, low speed cue, attitude indicator showing pitch and roll attitude, altitude, altitude tape, rate of climb, and heading;
•Stick shaker and stick pusher indicated as text, control wheel/column icon depicting the control wheel (rotating right or left) and control column (moving up or down) inputs, and an indicator showing rudder pedal inputs; and
•The power lever and condition lever as indicators, the flap handle selection as an indicator, and auto pilot status and gearhandle position indicated as text.
Excerpts from CVR transcript:
22:15:06.3       HOT-1    flaps five.?22:15:08.1       HOT-2    what??22:15:08.8       HOT-1    flaps five please.?22:15:13.5       APP        Colgan thirty four zero seven three miles from KLUMP turn left heading two six zero maintain two thousand three hundred until established localizer. cleared ILS approach runway two three.?22:15:22.2       RDO-2   left two sixty two thousand three hundred til established and cleared ILS two three approach Colgan thirty four zero seven.?22:15:31.7       HOT-1    alright approach is armed.?22:15:32.8       HOT-2    roger.?22:16:04.1       HOT-1    gear downlocs alive.?22:16:06.4       APP        Colgan thirty four zero seven contact tower one two zero point five. have a good night.?22:16:11.5       RDO-2   over to tower you do the same thirty four zero seven.?22:16:21.2       HOT-2    gears down.?22:16:23.5       HOT-1    flaps fifteen before landing checklist.?22:16:26.6       HOT-2    uhhh.?22:16:37.1       HOT-2    I put the flaps up.?22:16:42.2       HOT-1    [grunt]?22:16:45.8       HOT-2    should the gear up??22:16:46.8       HOT-1    gear up.?22:16:50.1       CAM       [increase in ambient noise]?22:16:51.9       CAM       [thump]

Duration : 0:2:39

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